Not that the champions have anything left to prove, but the Toronto Raptors once again silenced their doubters last night. The team broke Canada's record for the longest single-season winning streak from a pro sports franchise on Monday, February 10, 2020. Proving once and for all that team is a formidable force with or without its star players.
The Raptors 15 straight win streak beat out the Calgary Stampeders, who broke the record back in 2016, by a single point.
The Canadian Press via CBC reported that previous record-holders include the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Blue Jays, with the former winning 12 and the latter winning 11. The NBA record for the longest winning streak currently belongs to the Milwaukee Bucks, who won 18 in a row earlier this season.
While Toronto has been plagued by injuries this season, it hasn't seemed to stop them.
The defending champions have been forced to play game after game without the support of Lowry, Ibaka, Siakam, Anunoby, and Gasol. Yet, they have somehow managed to make it all seem so seamless.
Raptors head coach Nick Nurse weighed in on Monday on what he thinks the moment means for the franchise and what it says about his team.
"I think we can win right?" Nurse told the Press. "I think these guys have proven enough that they can win. We've had a lot of injuries this year, but they just keep stepping up and playing, and we've just gotten used to it.
"You at least have to go out and give a great effort, give yourself a chance to win, and don't let them play harder than you. If you think you're under-talented or undersized or whatever, then you've got to take your energy and toughness up a notch, and I think we've done that most nights," he added.
Longest winning streak by a Canadian franchise. Watch @TangerineHoops Game Highlights: https://t.co/HvzDmBmxhk https://t.co/ZpcWVmqtBM— Toronto Raptors (@Toronto Raptors) 1581398068.0
Pascal Siakam also dished on the team's surprising resilience to this season's obstacles.
"It's never been perfect," Siakam told TSN during a post-game interview. "We've barely had our team, and we've always had to adjust and figure it out. And I'm sure guys know now that you have to be ready every day. You never know what's going to happen. Today you might be sitting on the bench, and the next day you're starting. That's just got to be the mentality, and I think everyone knows that."
While the team continues to celebrate their wins, Raptors president Masai Ujiri found himself thrust back into legal trouble on Monday.
An Alameda County sheriff's deputy is suing the 49-year-old over an alleged assault. The lawsuit claims that Ujiri attacked the officer moments after the Raptors' historic victory over the Warriors last year.